Annual Festival Acts As Catalyst to Exploding Reggae Scene

Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad

By Charlie Englar

Entering its seventh year, The Poudre River Reggae Festival has become a mainstay in the Colorado reggae scene.

Setting up shop for another year at the Mishawaka Amphitheatre, the festival will be held July 29-31. A superb mixture of local and national acts will be on hand, with the likes of The Wailers, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, Dubskin, Euforquestra and Tatanka sharing the bill. Additionally, as of press time, there were still multiple acts to be decided.

The promoters of the festival are once again pooling their resources to present one of the finest reggae festivals out there.

“The festival is designed to provide fans of music with that wonderfully unique experience that is reggae; where at the end of the weekend, all those who have attended or were involved have nothing but positive experiences behind them. Besides the obviously well known roots of Jamaican reggae, globally the genre has grown quite a bit over the past decade. What we set out to do is to showcase the beautiful diversity that has sprouted throughout the world of reggae,” said Larry Leiber, co-promoter of the festival and co-founder of reggaemovement.com.

“First and foremost I am always concerned that the artists that are playing love the sound and that the audience can not only hear the quality but feel it as well – good bass what makes them dance,” added Ras Marcus Benjamin, head promoter of the festival.

Along with the national and global reggae scene, the festival promoters are mindful to bring to light the Colorado reggae movement as well.

“We wanted to involve as many of the Colorado local reggae acts as possible because our scene is so strong here and we want it to continue to grow. I think that everyone loves reggae music; they just might not know it yet. Reggae is music for all ages – music that people can grow old listening to. Our goal is to turn on as many people as possible to reggae music,” said Scott Morrill, co-promoter for the festival and owner/head talent buyer at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver.

Another aspect that makes the Poudre River Reggae Festival a positive entity is the willingness of the promoters and the owners of the Mishawaka to have the festival at the beautiful venue year after year.

“I am very glad that the new owners of the Mish have asked us back – it’s a privilege to be able to come back year after year. I also have to thank Robin Jones, who helped me sustain for the first six years as well,” said Benjamin.

There will be no “proper” camping for the festival, and Benjamin encourages everyone to look at other camping options within the canyon or to use the shuttle.

Visit themishawaka.com, reggaemovement.com or facebook/poudreriverreggaefest for shuttle bus times, general info and more.

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